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When children’s testimonies are used as evidence: how children’s accounts may impact child custodial decisions

Otgaar, H. & Howe, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5747-5571 (2018). When children’s testimonies are used as evidence: how children’s accounts may impact child custodial decisions. Journal of Child Custody, 15(4), pp. 263-267. doi: 10.1080/15379418.2018.1568721


In child custody cases, children oftentimes provide allegations of experienced trauma against one of their parents. Such allegations can happen before any investigative interviews (e.g., by the police or child protective services) have taken place. A central theme here concerns how to appraise such allegations and make certain that children’s accounts are taken seriously. In the current special issue, the focus is on new work on the functioning of children’s memory and its relation to trauma or work on children’s suggestibility and memory when they are traumatized. Specifically, key experts in the field of children’s memory provided contributions on: (1) the impact of interviewer support and rapport building on children’s testimonies, (2) the role of parental alienation in children’s testimonial accuracy, and (3) different types of false memories in children’s memory reports.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Child custody; children; memory; child Interviews; false memory; parental alienation; rapport; support
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
K Law
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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